"Gov. Rell is extremely frustrated that, for the third time, the House and Senate majority leadership gave in to special interests and voted for a bill that would severely hamper the way the state conducts business and dramatically increase the cost to taxpayers of doing business," [Rell spokesman Judd] Everhart said. "This bill totally eliminates any flexibility the state has in awarding contracts - completely tying the hands of the governor. Private companies - snowplow operators, landscapers, security guards, janitorial services - would be effectively excluded from bidding on state business, which impacts thousands of jobs."
"There shouldn't be any excuses now," House Speaker James Amann said after the vote. "It seems like Lucy and Charlie Brown. Every time Charlie Brown's ready to kick the football ... the ball gets moved. I think we've done exactly what she's asked us to do, and now we need her signature. Quite frankly, it just gets tiresome. We hope the governor will sign this. We can move on. That's why we did it early in the session - to get this out of the way." (Keating)
Republicans accuse Democrats of giving in to state employee unions. Democrats accuse Republicans of being obstructionists and hypocrites.
What really seems to bother Rell here, and this is what bothered her last year, is that the bill ties her hands. Rell has resisted bills that have in some way infringed upon the power of the executive, which she guards jealously. Her list of vetoes from last session demonstrates her willingness to veto bills that she felt stepped on her toes. What we're seeing, then, is less an ideological struggle (although there is certainly ideology involved) than a tug-of-war for power in Connecticut.
That's a contest Rell seems determined to win. Expect her to veto the bill, and provoke an uproar from her opponents, sometime later this week.
Keating, Christopher. "Contract Reform Pressure On Rell." Hartford Courant 2 March, 2006.